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Friday, March 1, 2024

Inequity Unveiled: Eastern Naga Aspirations And The Ceaseless Fight For Constitutional Redemption

The Frontier Naga Territory movement is not merely a regional phenomenon; it is a microcosm of the larger struggle for justice and equality that reverberates across all the times and circumstances in the past and present. It underscores how basic rights of people are easily violated when the “State” that they are part of is marred by structural imbalances, emphasizing the imperative to rectify these inequities for the collective and inclusive progress of society.

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By: Dr. Aniruddha Babar

“In the lustrous fabric of democracy, every thread should weave a story of justice and equality. The Frontier Naga Territory movement is not just a call for constitutional restoration; it is a poignant reminder that the heart of democracy beats in the voices of the unheard, in the dreams of those relegated to the shadows. As we navigate the intricate patterns of governance, let us remember that a democracy is only as strong as its commitment to ensuring that every citizen’s voice is not just heard but resounds with the echoes of justice, echoing through the hills and valleys of our shared aspirations.”

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In Chare Town where roads are but a dream,

A silent plea echoes in the quiet stream.

No construction sounds, no progress in sight,

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The suffering of people, an enduring plight.

 

Chare folks, with voices bold,

Ask the Government, when will roads unfold?

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In the heart of Nagaland, they bear the weight,

Yearning for paths that connect fate.

 

Choklangan village, a “public health center” unseen,

Questions linger in the air, where hope’s yet been.

People wonder aloud, their hearts beseech,

When will healing hands be within their reach?

 

Tuensang, Noklak, Shamator, Longleng forgotten and scorned,

Chen Circle of Mon, in silence mourned.

A condemned backyard, they reluctantly bear,

The suffering of Eastern Naga people laid bare.

 

In the shadow of neglect, with helpless “Kiphire” together they rise,

Yearning for progress beneath the Eastern skies.

A tale of suffering, a plea for change,

Let not their cries in oblivion arrange.

 

For in the hills of Nagaland’s embrace,

Lies a yearning for justice, a rightful place.

A symphony of voices, a chorus strong,

Eastern Naga people’s suffering, a poignant song.

 

Within India’s vast expanse, the hills do yearn,

For fairness and a place where justice will return.

A chorus echoing through the hillsides strong,

Telling the tale of Eastern Naga people’s suffering in song.

 

In the breathtakingly rugged and exquisitely verdant terrains of the Frontier Naga Territory- the Land of valiant Eastern Nagas, an unassuming yet profound constitutional revolution is quietly unfurling its wings – a transformative evolution that transcends the superficial pursuit of mere economic redressal, delving with unwavering resolve into the very core of constitutional rights. The Frontier Naga Territory movement emerges not as a simplistic endeavor seeking a paltry economic package; rather, it manifests as a harmonious symphony of voices, each note resounding with a fervent call for the restoration of constitutional rights. This movement resonates with the deepest aspirations of the Eastern Naga people, who, for an extended period, have found themselves relegated to the marginalized peripheries of both political representation and economic justice. It is, in essence, a collective clarion call, an articulation of the long-suppressed yearnings for equitable standing within the constitutional framework, a resolute demand for the recognition and fulfillment of the inherent rights that have eluded this resilient community for far too long. As the movement gains momentum, it weaves a narrative not just of economic empowerment but of the reclamation of dignity, identity, and agency for a people determined to carve out a rightful place within the intricate lustrous fabric of constitutional governance.

At the core of this movement lies the palpable sense of injustice emanating primarily from the unequal political representation in the Nagaland State Assembly. The numerical disparity of 20 seats allocated to the eastern areas versus the 40 seats from forward/non-eastern areas is not just a statistical incongruity; it is a constitutional aberration that has systematically annulled the constitutionally guaranteed political rights of the Eastern Naga people.

Constitutional frameworks are designed to be the bedrock of a just and equitable society, yet the Eastern Naga people find themselves disenfranchised within the very system meant to protect their rights. The skewed distribution of seats in the Nagaland State Assembly is not a benign oversight; it is a deliberate truncation of political agency, relegating an entire populace to a secondary status within their own state.

The consequences of this sub-representation/underrepresentation in Nagaland State Legislative Assembly resonate beyond mere numbers. They reverberate through the corridors of power, breeding a culture of state apathy and step-motherly treatment towards the Eastern Naga region. When the voices of a significant segment of the population are muted within the democratic process, the resulting governance is inherently skewed and fails to encapsulate the diverse needs and aspirations of the entire populace. Political sub-representation / Underrepresentation of Eastern Nagas in Nagaland State Legislative Assembly-Economic Injustice-Null Governance in Eastern Naga lands goes hand in hand- and that very fact gives FNT movement a definite, inevitable angle of ‘Political Justice’.

The roots of the Frontier Naga Territory movement are entwined with the historic injustice perpetuated through unequal political representation. It is a movement that transcends political affiliations and economic needs; it is a collective yearning for a constitutional paradigm that reflects the true spirit of democracy – one where every citizen, regardless of geographical location and social status, is afforded equal representation and protection under the law.

To grasp the urgency of the situation, one must delve into the annals of Nagaland’s political evolution. The Eastern Naga people, with their distinct cultural identity and historical context, have been relegated to the periphery of decision-making processes. This subjugation within the political arena has led to a palpable sense of neglect and marginalization, fostering an environment where the cries for justice have metamorphosed into a fervent demand for constitutional restoration.

The Frontier Naga Territory movement is not merely a regional phenomenon; it is a microcosm of the larger struggle for justice and equality that reverberates across all the times and circumstances in the past and present. It underscores how basic rights of people are easily violated when the “State” that they are part of is marred by structural imbalances, emphasizing the imperative to rectify these inequities for the collective and inclusive progress of society.

In the crucible of this movement, the Eastern Naga people find themselves at a crossroads – a juncture where their resilience meets the unyielding walls of an unequal political landscape which further became responsible for perpetuating step-motherly treatment and state apathy to the eastern people. The restoration of constitutional rights is not just a legal imperative; it is a moral obligation for a society that claims to uphold the principles of justice and equality.

As the Frontier Naga Territory movement gains positive momentum, it serves as a poignant reminder that constitutional rights are not static, immutable entities. They are living, breathing principles that demand periodic reevaluation and recalibration to ensure that the democratic fabric of our great country remains inclusive and representative of the collective will of the people.

The Frontier Naga Territory movement is an epicenter of change, echoing the aspirations of a people who refuse to be shackled by the chains of unequal political representation, economic injustice, step motherly treatment and stark naked state apathy meted out to them for the last 60 years. Eastern Naga People demand EQUITY, POLITICAL DIGNITY, ECONOMIC JUSTICE AND HUMAN IDENTITY- THEY DO NOT DEMAND ANY ECONOMIC PACKAGE. FNT MOVEMENT is a peaceful, lawful, constitutional movement in universal spirit of the Constitution of India embodying the essence of democracy – a government of the people, by the people, and for all the people.  (The author is an academician in Tetso College, Nagaland)

 

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The Hills Times
The Hills Timeshttps://www.thehillstimes.in/
The Hills Times, a largely circulated English daily published from Diphu and printed in Guwahati, having vast readership in hills districts of Assam, and neighbouring Nagaland, Meghalaya, Arunachal Pradesh and Manipur.
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